So…did you get a breath of fresh air this week? {It was a little prescription from wisdom last week!} Did anything tug at your heartstrings or speak to your soul? I hope you were able to take a moment, and if you weren’t, I hope you’ll try to today, or tomorrow… or the next day… and if after three days you haven’t found that moment, we might need to think about those yes’s you’ve been yessing, yes?

Last week we talked about the Wisdom that is plain to see if you take a moment, with a heart ready to learn, and wonder at the creation around you.

Today, I’d like to ponder that Wisdom that was intentionally placed deep inside that one precious heart of yours. That God-stamped “Know it in your knower” place where we inexplicably know things before anyone tells us — that stealing or killing is wrong, for example.

While “Conscience” might seem like a word borrowed from outside the Christian realm, Paul speaks plainly about it in his letter to the Romans, where he talks about the Gentiles who were never exposed to the Law (that being the Law of Moses), but who still do the things in the Law, “who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them…” (Rom. 2:15).

So often I’ve been in situations where deep deep down I just knew, this is the way or that is the way — inexplicably. I believe this is part of God’s thumbprint on us as His creation — part of the way we were created in the Image of God — to think and reason and sense His Will because our consciences accuse or excuse us as we ponder the road we take.

Once upon a time, back in our old abode, I took some time outside to breathe and think and to ask God to teach me. I looked at the new Hibiscus plant stretching toward the sky. Marveled at a patch of Oregano, spreading in a cosy corner. I gazed at the moon, low in the sky and more white than a good glass of milk, and then my eyes finally rested in a rather unexpected direction.

The Hubs had built raised garden beds for me, and in the springs and summers that followed we weeded and planted and tended and watched and tried our best to bring good things out of the soil. We had mixed success with cucumbers, heaps of Basil, a few butternut squash, bumper crops of Italian tomatoes, and times where the tomatoes just never really seemed to “get going right.” 

That year, we had a big trip planned right in the middle of the summer, so after throughly weeding the garden with the help of a tenacious four-year-old, I stirred up the dirt and then just left it, still pondering whether to plant something now and leave it to the elements for three weeks, or to rather wait and see what late bloomers I might try when we got home again.

A couple of months later, my garden was chock-a-block full of plants of different shapes and sizes. Green and verdant and teeming with life. Unfortunately, none of the plants growing in those beds was edible, or even useful.

Every single plant stretching up toward the sun in those beds? Was a weed.

Did you notice how the foolish woman started out repeating the words of Wisdom in Proverbs 9? Just like Lady Wisdom, she says “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” But Lady Wisdom offers those lacking in understanding a meal, and an invitation to forsake foolishness and go in the way of understanding.

The Foolish Woman has a quite contrary idea: “Stolen water is sweet. Bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”

What does all this have to do with a garden full of weeds, if you please?

Well — stolen water is water you didn’t work for. Bread eaten in secret is probably bread you didn’t earn and shouldn’t be eating. The easy things come easy — but they are not the best things.

Likewise, it was absolutely effortless for me to grow a garden full of weeds. Truly! And feel free to try it sometime! With no effort whatsoever, you just stir that soil up, leave it alone, and see what treasure awaits you!

But the good things? The precious things? The things you’ll be proud of, the things that will feed your family, body and soul — they are not the easy things.

It would be a complete cinch to raise my children to be brats, right? If I just left them to their own devices, never corrected any wrong behavior, never spoke to them of kindness or sharing or thinking of the feelings of others, that inherent sin in their nature, that selfishness that we’re all born with — it would grow quite a garden in their hearts, wouldn’t it?

But would I be pleased, in the end, with those results?

Of course not.

Instead I’m trying my darnedest to model kindness, to cut out words of sarcasm because I don’t want to hear them repeated back to me, to touch gently, speak softly, listen carefully, and to encourage these little creatures in my care to do the same.

They also have that God-whisper in their hearts — built in. 

Once, a darling eighteen month old heard me say “Don’t touch that” and I watched her wrestle. She looked at me, and then held out a finger again to the item I’d told her not to touch, wondering if perhaps she could get by on the pretense she hadn’t heard. But when I said it a second time, that little finger dropped to her side, and she turned and walked away from temptation, and back to me. She just knew it in her knower.

Deep in our hearts there’s a whisper of Truth from the One who created us. And Wisdom has an open invitation extended for us to come to her house and dine. We can feast on the wisdom of Creation — observe how easy it is to grow weeds, but what a challenge it is to grow good things — and we can learn.

We can feast on the Wisdom God breathed into our own souls — listening for and learning to recognize the whisper of His voice in our hearts, accusing or excusing so that we know the path to take.

There will always be the easy way.

Krispy Kreme donuts and fast food are easy. Preparing good, wholesome meals for our families is not.

Couch surfing and binge watching late night TV is easy. Getting up early to do the good work that is waiting for us is not.

Ignoring undesirable behavior and moving right along is easy. Having a heart to hear with a struggling child who needs correction… nope, once again… it’s not.

Take a moment today to ponder how you hear from God when you want His direction and guidance. Is it easier to hear outdoors, in the quiet? Do you often find direction when you open the Bible and dig in? Does the godly counsel of a trusted, faithful friend do wonders for your soul when you’re at a crossroads? 

Wisdom cries out from nature, as well as from the depths of our own souls. Be still, listen, and take off your shoes.

And maybe? It helps to just know: the easy way is very often not the best way. Let’s pray God will refine us, and lead us deeper into longing for His very best.

Psst… Did you catch the news about a new resource I created for you? It’s called Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids, and you can find it on the brand new Parenting Resources page I ALSO created for you! Find all the good stuff at

I hope you’re encouraged today, friend.
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